PATTERNS OF INHERITANCE

Genetic disorders that are due to changes in a single gene can be inherited, or passed on in families, in different ways. Some conditions are inherited from both parents, others from a single parent and some can occur spontaneously as a new genetic event in a child. The links below will show you the main ways different disorders can be inherited through the generations.

Recessive inheritance

The role that each gene pair plays in our bodies is the same, but tiny differences in the code of our parents’ DNA result in subtle differences in us. In recessive disorders both parents have the same subtle difference in a particular gene

Dominant inheritance

Although most genetic disorders involve inheriting a faulty gene from both parents, sometimes conditions are caused by inheriting a gene from just one parent

X-linked recessive inheritance

Genetic conditions with an X-linked recessive pattern of inheritance usually only affect boys. This is because they are caused by an altered gene carried on the X-chromosome.